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Tuesday, 16 August 1960

At present the annual cost of maintaining and operating the airport and airway facilities used by the air transport industry exceeds £13,000,000 and it has been rising year by year. Against this outlay, the users pay some £700,000 a year in air navigation charges. There is thus a heavy net burden on the Commonwealth Budget and it is growing.

Air transportation has made remarkable headway in recent years and can now be regarded as a well-established industry. There is no essential reason why it should not make a progressively greater contribution each year towards the cost of ground facilities provided at public expense. After reviewing the position, the Government has therefore decided to adopt a policy of full recovery from the users of the cost of facilities attributable to their operations. This aim will be achieved over a period of years. Each year there will be a review of the air navigation charges payable by the airlines and, as a first step, it is proposed to amend the Air Navigation Charges Act to increase the level of these charges. The additional revenue to be obtained is estimated at £450,000 in a full year and £300,000 in 1960-61.

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